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Renal conditions and treatments

Surgical procedures used to treat renal tumours may include partial or total removal of the affected kidney, and in some cancers, removal of the ureter as well.

Partial nephrectomy involves excision of the tumour and a surrounding cuff of normal kidney tissue. This is the preferred option for small tumours.

In laparoscopic nephrectomy, the kidney is removed via a small incision in the lower abdomen. This procedure is usually performed when the renal tumour is between 4 and 10 centimetres.

Open nephrectomy is used for tumours larger than 10 centimetres or when the cancer has spread to adjacent tissue. This procedure is also required if laparoscopic surgery cannot be performed because the patient has previously had extensive abdominal surgery.